Gaikwad stalemate: Sena threatens BJP, says won’t attend NDA meet

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Ravindra Gaikwad (C) with Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut (L) and party MPs after a  press conference at Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday after he apologized in the Lok Sabha for his recent assault on an Air India employee. PTI Photo

New Delhi: Ravindra Gaikwad (C) with Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut (L) and party MPs after a press conference at Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday after he apologized in the Lok Sabha for his recent assault on an Air India employee. PTI Photo

Government’s ally, Shiv Sena has threatened to not attend the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting scheduled on April 10, if the flying ban on its MP Ravindra Gaikwad is not revoked by then.

Not just that, Sena also threatened to disrupt flight operations in Mumbai and Pune airports.

“We will not attend the NDA meeting on April 10 if the travel ban on Gaikwad is not revoked,” party spokesman Sanjay Raut said, noting that it was an “instruction from party chief Uddhav Thackeray”.

Gaikwad was banned from flying by all airlines after he allegedly beat up an Air India staff.

In a press briefing in New Delhi, Sena alleged a conspiracy behind the ban on Gaikwad.

Earlier in the day, in the Lok Sabha Gaikwad made a statement where he denied all allegations that he attacked an airline staff. In fact he claimed that the airline misbehaved with him.

Other Sena MPs including Union minister Anant Geete defended him and created a ruckus, almost surrounding the Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju after he refused to heed to their demand for revoking the flying ban.

Post the confrontation, Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured Anant Geete that Gajapathi Raju will hold discussions with all stakeholders and arrive at an “amicable solution”.

Meanwhile, Air India is said to be stepping up their security after Sena threatened to disrupt flights.

“We are enhancing security of our staff deployed at Mumbai and Pune rpt Pune Airport in the wake of threat to ground flight operations at these aerodromes,” an Air India source said.

(With inputs from PTI)